Playing my Barbarian, I recently found Doombringer:

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That +16% damage from physical skills sounds pretty nice for a Barbarian. However, what actually counts as a physical skill? I assume something like Rend or Frenzy would, since it involves me smacking things with my sword. However, I've got Frenzy runed to do fire damage. Would it still be a "physical skill" even though the damage isn't?

  • My guess is anything that does physical damage. I've seen other items that say "Fire skills do x% more damage", so this would work the same except for physical damage.
    – Adeese
    Commented Feb 28, 2014 at 22:12
  • I'm not sure. Wouldn't it make more sense for it to say something like "+16% to all physical damage" then? Do the fire skill ones work the way you're describing?
    – Sterno
    Commented Feb 28, 2014 at 23:02

2 Answers 2


Each and every ability has a damage 'element' with physical being one of them. You can hold Ctrl while hovering over an ability to see its type of damage.

You can also see the damage type based on the background color/graphic, e.g. red background = physical, blue with lightning streaks = lightning, etc.

Monk's Mantra of Conviction with Overawe

As you can see in this image, the skill 'Mantra of Conviction' with the 'Overawe' rune does physical damage.

I started a Barbarian (since I didn't have one), and nearly all of the base abilities that I could see (including 'Rend' and 'Frenzy') did physical damage.

  • Now I guess I should level my new barbarian ;-)
    – Bob2Chiv
    Commented Mar 1, 2014 at 14:27
  • Ah, thanks! I hadn't seen the word "Physical" at the top of the skills. So I tested it out and if I use Frenzy runed with nothing, it's Physical, but if I rune it with Maniac (which does fire damage) it says "Fire" at the top instead.
    – Sterno
    Commented Mar 2, 2014 at 0:52
  • Does %physical really work with Mantra of Conviction? Because it's more like a debuff on enemies.
    – mostruash
    Commented Oct 6, 2014 at 20:40
  • @mostruash That sounds like a good follow up question; I am not sure. I think when I made this example I simply took the 'first' skill on my hotbar, Mantra of Conviction may not be the best example, but all skills will have the damage element shown as in this example.
    – Bob2Chiv
    Commented Oct 8, 2014 at 12:08
  • Here we go: gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/186496/…
    – mostruash
    Commented Oct 8, 2014 at 15:39

If I remember correctly, all damage is physical unless stated otherwise. The other type would of course be elemental. I am not sure how a perk that add elemental damage to a physical attack will work, might depend on the perk, but either it is physical damage + said elemental damage, or it's physical damage converted to elemental damage.

So, physical skill is any skill you use that deal physical damage.

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